Today’s selection comes from a passage in Nouwen’s book, “With Burning Hearts.” It’s a book about the Eucharist, and Nouwen lets the story from Luke 24 of the travelers on the road to Emmaus guide his reflection on the way the bread & the cup connect to our daily lives. (This passage is actually taken from a book called The Only Necessary Thing, a collection of assorted quotes and passage from Nouwen that are divvied up into topical chapters.) While Brethren have always emphasized the way Communion draws us together as well as draws us to God, Nouwen’s focus here is on that “vertical” relationship. If you read carefully you’ll notice his allusions to the Luke 24 story as well.
Without further ado:
It is this intense desire of God to enter into the most intimate relationship with us that forms the core of the eucharistic celebration and the eucharistic life. God not only wants to enter human history by becoming a person who lives in a specific epoch and a specific country, but God wants to become our daily food and drink at any time and any place…
Communion is what God wants and what we want. It is the deepest cry of God’s and our heart, because we are made with a heart that can be satisfied only by the One who made. God created in our heart a yearning for communion that no one but God can, and wants, to fulfill. God knows this. We seldom de. We keep looking somewhere else for that experience of belonging….Still if we have mourned our losses, listen to him on the road, and invited him into our innermost being, we will know that the communion we have been waiting to receive is the same communion God has been waiting to give. (Excerpt from The Only Necessary Thing, 180-181; available at Amazon.com, ISBN 10 is 0824524934; 13, 978-0824524937).
Can you relate to Nouwen here? Have you experienced that sense of belonging that he describes, or even the desire for it that he says our hearts long for?
I think about what it means to belong for all sorts of reasons; it’s easy for me to feel like an outsider, to notice outsiders, and to endlessly reflect on just how much I believe God’s love for me is relevant for whatever happens to be going on around me. (Notice the language: It’s not hard to feel like a stranger to my own life sometimes!) And I have spent enormous amounts of energy trying to find that place where I belong. And yet, discovering my heart’s satisfaction in the communion with God that Nouwen speaks about here has fundamentally changed how I relate to the entire world around me. It’s a daily task, a discipline, for me to return to that communion. The Eucharist–Communion!–is a reminder of it, of course, but it’s been good work to find the ways to return to the truth that Nouwen so honestly describes here.
~Post written by Rich Hagopian